The Manhattan Review
The Manhattan Review
Established 1980

Archive > Vol. 13 no. 2


Penelope Shuttle

The Day Is My Servant


The day is my servant
the moon is my master

for whom I sing a Sabbath of mistakes,
wear a pearl’s brother in my ear,
keep a scrapbook of the open air

The cage is my servant
the leopard is my master —

Five times a day
Light kneels down in the eyes
of my lovely leopard

Silence is my master
but music is my servant —
a tongue made of tin,
singing madrigals of thunder

Fire is my servant
ice is my master

for whom I wear this white veil,
for whom I spread these white deathbed linens.